El Mensajero (English)

Posted: March 8, 2012

Biden visits Guadalupe basilica, speaks of mother's devotion

By Catholic News Service
MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Vice President Joe Biden prayed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe while visiting Mexico City and later told reporters he would have stopped at the shrine even if he had no official business in the Mexican capital.

Biden visited after meeting with Mexican politicians and political candidates March 5. He knelt before an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and later spoke of his mother's devotion to Mary.

"She impressed upon her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that they must seek the intersession of the Blessed Mother, and I regret that she is not here with us," the newspaper Reforma reported Biden said of his mother.

Mexican media outlets reported Msgr. Enrique Glennie, rector of the basilica, showed Biden around the site in the northern part of Mexico City, where Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531.

Religion and politics often intersect in polemic ways south of the border, but Biden would have none of it, rebuffing questions about his meetings earlier in the day with the three main presidential candidates for the July 1 election. He also met with President Felipe Calderon.

"I would prefer not to speak of the candidates," Biden said. "I had a great day with the candidates, but I've had a better day here.

"I would have come if there were nothing but this."

Our Lady of Guadalupe is Mexico's patroness and has been cited as an inspiration for the independence and social movements.

Copyright 2012 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved. This article may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
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